[ed. note - "This is the second piece from Federalbaseball.com intern Patrick Kenney. For much more from him on the Syracuse Chiefs follow him on Twitter @PRyKenney."]
By Patrick Kenny
Home field advantage seems like a myth in Syracuse this season.
It was the fifth-straight loss at home for Syracuse as the Chiefs were unable to capitalize on rallies in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings after falling behind in the first. The Chiefs have been outscored by 19, 45-26, in first innings this season.
The Chiefs stranded a total of eight runners during the game.
"We had opportunities in the late innings to tie and take the lead and we did not take advantage," said Chiefs Manager Tony Beasley, "Obviously we need to execute in those situations because it cost us the game."
The Chiefs fell behind when starting pitcher Matt Torra gave up a Todd Cunningham single and then back-to-back doubles to Tyler Pastornicky and Ernesto Mejia. The two-run Gwinnett first marked the 19th time the Chiefs allowed a run in the first inning and the second-straight game Torra gave a run up in the opening frame.
Pastornicky expanded the Braves' lead to four with a two-run home run in the third, his second of the season. Torra allowed only two hits in his next four innings of work. Overall, the Chiefs' starter allowed four runs on ten hits with two strikeouts and no walks in his home debut for Syracuse after his stint on the DL with an oblique injury.
"He started rough but was able to get it back together and keep us in the game" said Beasley.
Gwinnett starting pitcher Daniel Rodriguez shut down the Chiefs through five innings, allowing only one hit and striking out six.
Chris Marrero doubled to left in the sixth. That brought in Chris Rahl (who doubled earlier in the inning) and Will Rhymes to make it 4-2.
"I was able to get a hit and help our team fight back," said Marrero.
Syracuse cut the lead to one in the seventh when Micah Owings hit a pinch-hit single which scored Zach Walters, but that was as close as the Chiefs would get.
Syracuse fell to 22-29 on the season and look to bounce back against Gwinnett tonight after losing the first two games of the four game homestand.